First Aid Only 299 Piece Review
Cons: Poorly organized, overall low-quality
Manufacturer: First Aid Only
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The First Aid Only kit sure has a lot of medical equipment stuffed into its nylon carrying case, but immediately upon opening the kit, we were underwhelmed. The kit's clear plastic "organizer" is anything but, and similar contents such as medications or wound care treatments are scattered about. Certain items that will see frequent use are in good condition, as kits at this price range often have bandages that don't stick or dried out alcohol pads. Medications have expiry dates that range from one to two years from testing date, which means you will have to be vigilant about monitoring for out of date supplies.
We are least impressed with the medical tape, which is about as frustrating to use as masking tape. The plastic trauma shears, plastic tweezers, and instant cold pack were poor quality and should be replaced.
This is a useful kit for the common injuries sustained in a home or office setting and has some utility in some more dramatic emergencies, but it is a light-duty kit and needs to be supplemented to have a greater range of usefulness. Almost two-thirds of the advertised 299 pieces are bandages (196 small bandages total!), which seems like a bit much considering there are only 29 pads to clean wounds with, and only six antibiotic ointment packs. We would like to see a CPR mask, better quality medical or athletic tape, and a bigger range of commonly used over the counter medications.
First aid kits are inherently less durable products as their contents get used up and need to be replenished, but the carrying kit and organizational ability of a kit can have a lot to do with how long it lasts. We have to rifle through the entire kit, essentially spilling its contents to find the specific item we are looking for, and then stuff it all back into the open compartments, and in doing this the packaging and quality suffers. At the minimum, some of this kit's contents will need replacing within the year.
This is a good kit to stuff into the back of the car, keep in an office drawer, or have on a car camping trip, but its limited utility in a backcountry emergency scenario leads us to recommend against it as a backpacking or outdoor kit. Lack of helpful items like ace bandages, CPR mask, single pair of gloves, and minimal tape makes it a kit that should stay in simple frontcountry settings.
The First Aid Only kit weighs 18.5 ounces. It is compact, relatively thin, and can be stowed in a seatback pocket for easy access. The included single-use instant cold pack weighs 3 ounces itself, so you could lighten it up significantly just by leaving this item behind.
This first aid kit is a reasonable value, considering what it would cost you to purchase all the individual components, though the large number of contents is boosted by the extreme number of bandages. If you are seeking greater usefulness, then spending a few more dollars and getting better quality contents might be worthwhile.
We find the First Aid Only 299-Piece kit to be of average quality, with a surprising number of bandages and relatively sparse additional first aid supplies. Good for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, this basic kit has limited utility but comes at an affordable price.
— Ryan Huetter